The creeping exclusion of the right from online platforms like Twitter and Facebook is well-known, drawing the attention of Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and the RNC. But a greater challenge is on the horizon: the exclusion of the right from financial services.
Conservatives have long been the target of shadowbans, biased algorithms, and account bans on social media. Not content with silencing their voices online, the left now wants to stop the right from using the web to fundraise. Thanks to the increasing willingness of online fundraising platforms and payment processors to ban clients for political reasons, they are getting their way.
One of the most popular fundraising platforms is Patreon, a site that allows users to collect monthly recurring donations from their supporters. With the decline of ad revenue on platforms like YouTube, Patreon has emerged as an important and effective tool for online content creators to earn a living. In some cases, it can take little more than a hundred fans contributing set amounts per month for a creator to support themselves full-time.
In theory, this creates an environment similar to that of talk radio in the 1980s: a decentralized ecosystem where new creators can quickly establish an independent support base, without relying on gatekeepers in the establishment media. With only their fans to answer to, as opposed to controversy-shy advertisers, it should be the perfect formula for free expression.
There’s just one problem — Patreon itself. Like the rest of Silicon Valley, Patreon has decided it wants to be more than just a neutral platform, and now routinely cuts off income from content creators for political reasons. Chief among them is “hate speech”, which Patreon Read more